September to Remember


That’s what we all got to say to our attorney, Claire DeChambre at her baby shower. We’re all very excited for this huge event in Claire’s life, and wish her the best as she heads off on maternity leave later this month.

Of course if you would like to see Claire, as well as a number of our other attorneys, in action before her parental parting, the Arizona School Board Association is hosting their 43rd Annual Law Conference between Wednesday September 4th and Friday September 6th at the Mariott in Scottsdale, and Hufford and Horstman will be presenting upon numerous topics. Of course all the presentations available at the conference will be of esteemable quality, but we recommend attending our own. These presentations are:

Thursday, 4:10 PM
Legal Considerations of Educating Native American Students On and Off Tribal Lands: Presented by Patrice Horstman

Friday, 11:00 AM
Stump the Lawyer: Moderated by Ben Hufford and featuring Rob Haws, Tom Pickrell, John Richardson, Candy Pardee, & Denise Bainton

Friday, 1:15 PM
The Unique Legal Challenges of Small and Rural Schools: Presented by Claire DeChambre & Kristen Dikeman

Friday, 2:15 PM
School District Consolidation/Unification: What Are the Options?: Presented by Nathan Schott, Chuck Essigs & Leigh Jensen

We look forward to seeing you there!

Ian Parlaman
It's Gonna Be May

We have officially entered spring and the beautiful weather is unrelenting out here in Flagstaff. News of our glorious town is hard to keep secret, and so the kids with Catalina Foothills All State Band decided to come up to pay us a visit (pictured below). Of course, Attorney Ben Hufford’s daughters are members of the ensemble, and it is quite an honor that these talented musicians would make a point to stop by while visiting our city.

For a piece of housekeeping, Attorneys Gehl Tucker and Samantha Kelty will be presenting at the Heinfeld Meech Grant School Conference in Laughlin May 9 and 10 on the topics of Social Bullying: What is it and what do you do about it and Impaired Employees respectively. Be sure to attend if possible.

Finally, this may not be law-related, and certainly isn’t something one would see in Flagstaff, but our Partner, Patrice spent a few weeks in Antarctica, and brought back a handful of pictures (such as our title photo) which simply must be shared. Please visit this gallery to see some delightful photos of her trip down south.

Some of the Catalina Foothills Band looking cool in front of our Flagstaff Office.

Some of the Catalina Foothills Band looking cool in front of our Flagstaff Office.

Ian Parlaman
On the Retirement of Judge Margie McCullough

As was reported yesterday in the AZ Daily Sun, Margaret McCullough, Coconino County’s Juvenile Court Judge, recently retired after 25 years of service. As some of you know, she began her career in law at our firm. One of our founding partners, Patrice Horstman, has the following words for our friend, Margie:

Congratulations to Judge McCullough on her well deserved retirement. I knew her when she was known simply as Margie. A couple decades ago, Margie joined Ben Hufford and myself and became part of the law firm that is now known as Hufford, Horstman, Mongini, Parnell & Tucker, P.C. Margie then, and now, remains a committed member of our community, specializing in representing those that were hurting or needing some understanding and advocating for those whose voice was not often heard. Early on, Margie, and our firm, was awarded the juvenile contract, advocating for young people who found themselves caught up in the criminal justice system. Margie was compassionate, but not a push over. She had high expectations and occasionally “laid down the law” for these young clients. Her passion for making a difference in their lives lead her to accepting the first juvenile judgeship in Coconino County. With great regret for our loss, we acknowledged that the County could not have picked a better juvenile judge. She has done this community proud and has made a difference in so many young people’s lives. Thank you Margie for your commitment, dedication, intellect and perseverance. Mostly, thank you Margie, for being Margie.”

—Patrice Horstman

Ian Parlaman
Year in Thanks

As snow falls overhead, we take this opportunity to look back on 2018 with fondness. It has been a year of awards, medals, and certifications which all come from hard work and a caring community around us.

This year Nathan Schott and Kristen Dikeman both passed the Navajo Nation Bar, which is an achievement that has already cascaded into great work in the Navajo Nation. We got to see both Gehl Tucker and Eve Parnell retire (despite regularly coming into the office afterwards) after decades of dedicated service at our firm. Eve spent her first foray away from the firm in the down under of Australia, and Gehl also went down south, if not as far, to Bisbee, AZ, where he placed second in the 1000 step Great Stair Climb. On the subject of awards, Patrice Horstman was honored both with the ASBA John R. McDonald award and the Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts’s Woman of Distinction award.

In short, this year has been a busy one, but also one in which we have been recognized in our community of Northern Arizonans. We have had an excellent 365 days, all the way up through December, where Sam, Claire and Kristen traveled all over the state to attend and present at grant schools’ annual corporate meetings and work sessions. We are grateful for the opportunity to make a positive difference, and are looking forward to 2019 as another chance to play our part. Thank you Northern Arizona for being a great place to practice law, and here is to another year!

Ian Parlaman

Here it is! Winter has properly arrived here at the office, and we’re happy to join the rest of Flagstaff in snow covered branches and slippery streets. Let it snow!

On the subject of Winter, both attorneys Samantha Kelty and Kristen Dikeman will be presenting at the upcoming NAGSA Annual Winter Conference, which is scheduled for December 13 through 15 at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.  The theme is “Empowering Our Generations Through Communication.” Sam’s presentation is entitled:  “Likes, Hashtags and Pokes:  What is Cyber-Bullying and What Do We Do About It?” Kristen’s presentation is entitled:  “Calendars, Communication, and Caselaw: Addressing Common Challenges in Special Education Law Compliance.”  They both will be presenting on December 13, 2018, so be sure to put it on your calendar now!

Of course, we would be remiss to mention Kristen above, and not let out a huge congratulations for her passing the Navajo Nation Bar Exam. Kristen is our firm’s newest attorney, and she has been doing excellent work in these short months. Passing the bar is just an example of the great work she regularly does, and we’re excited to see what else she’ll accomplish with us. Way to go, Kristen!

Ian Parlaman
Pickin' and Placing and Puppies and Pearl

It has been an exciting month of good news and fun events this October.

First, in a throwback to September, the image above is of our own Donovan Schott (son of the talented attorney, Nathan Schott), who is having a fantastic time at his first Pickin’ in the Pines. The bluegrass and acoustic music festival rocked Flagstaff on the sunny weekend of September 14th - 16th, and we were lucky enough to be one of its sponsors.

In other fun news, our own semi-retired Gehl Tucker has been training for the past six months for the 28th Annual Bisbee 1000: The Great Stair Climb, and all of that hard work paid off. He scaled 1,000 steps over the course of 4.5 miles in one hour and one minute, coming in second place in his age group (which we assume is 18-35). When discussing his success, he went on to confidently say he would be getting first place next year. We’ll be cheering you on, Gehl!

Keeping that good news train rolling, we would like to join the Flagstaff community in welcoming High Country Humane Shelter into existence. Patrice Horstman has been working alongside the Board of Supervisors, and on the 16th of this month they finalized the acceptance of the Second Chance facility and awarded a new animal welfare/shelter contract to Paw Placement.  The Board’s action, which includes an IGA for coordinated services with the city, brings state of the art animal welfare services to our community.  This fulfills  Dick and Jean Wilson’s dream and certainly is their legacy to our community.

Save the Date! Northern Arizona Troop Pearl Leader Patrice Horstman is once again forming the northern Arizona team to participate in the Girl Scouts largest fundraiser of the year, Badge Bash on November 2, 2018.  Troop Pearl is the adult girl scout troop which supports our Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts are the largest organization for girls in the country. Come join in the fun and support the Girl Scouts!

Flagstaff Troop  Pearl, our northern Arizona adult Girl Scout troop, is again, joining together for Pine Cactus Girl Scouts Badge Bash fundraiser! Badge Badge is a fun night of female camaraderie, some wine drinking, dinner, and earning badges.  The Pine Cactus Girl Scout Parsons Leadership center at South Mountain provides a perfect setting for an evening under the stars; complete with a campfire and somemores.   GS sponsors set up tables to introduce themselves and provide fun challenges as we race around the beautiful outside complex to visit the tables and “earn”our badges.  Last year Flagstaff’s Troop Pearl clearly earned the most badges so defending our title is paramount....also raising money to support the largest organization of girls in our country.  If there is ever a time when our girls need the support and leadership skills offered by the Girl Scouts it is now!   Please join us for a fun evening and support our girls!

Finally, on a chilly day in early October, the attorneys enjoyed their annual retreat at the Colton House.

The HHMPT team enjoying the woods together.

Ian Parlaman
A Decade of Kelty

Happy October Everybody!

We are celebrating the tenth anniversary of Samantha Kelty practicing law here at Hufford, Horstman, Mongini, Parnell, & Tucker, P.C. Sam is a dedicated attorney who is always one of the first people to arrive in the office, getting right to work while the rest of us are still waking up. She is known to put in long hours and make multiple drafts of anything she writes, because she is completely unsatisfied with work that is simply “good enough,” and she is pleasant to be around the entire time. During this past ten years, she has made a huge impact in the operations of schools and businesses throughout Northern Arizona. Samantha is truly a great lawyer and a great colleague to us all. We know Samantha will continue to achieve the extraordinary. Thank you for all your hard work, Samantha!

Separately, congratulations to our most recent addition, Associate Kristen Dikeman, on passing the Navajo Nation Bar! We knew she would. You can catch Kristen presenting on Special Education at the NAGSA Winter Conference in Las Vegas this December 13th-15th!

Finally thanks to everyone who joined us at the 42nd Annual ASBA Law Conference. Our attorneys, Ben Hufford, Patrice Horstman, Claire DeChambre and Nathan Schott all presented during the three-day event, and we thank both ASBA and the school law community for the honor and opportunity.

Ian Parlaman
Woman of Distinction

Two days ago, Patrice Horstman, community leader, dog rescuer, political activist, co-founder of this law firm, and Girl Scout was honored as Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts’s Woman of Distinction for 2018. Those in attendance were treated to kind and reverential words about Ms. Horstman from women of influence: community leader Kerry Blume, GSACPC Board Chair Teri Kelley, and Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans.

Following this, Patrice Horstman stood for recognition, and to deliver the keynote speech. The assembled admirers of Ms. Horstman applauded and cheered as she conveyed her appreciation for the Girl Scouts of America, her parents, and inspiring women in her life that gave her the drive to become who she is today. She told how she learned that women could play competitive sports, become astronauts and practice law because that’s what Girl Scouts do, and by the end of her speech, she had rallied her audience to shout along with her, that changing the world for the better is what we all should do because “that’s what Girl Scouts do.” She left the podium to a standing ovation, clearly having made her mark on everybody there, not just today, but over the past 45 years.

For more please check out our gallery of the event. We’re so proud of you, Patrice. Thanks for everything you do!

Ian Parlaman
Big Day

We are excited that our very own Patrice Horstman is receiving Arizona School Board Association's John R. McDonald award for 2018, and we could not be more proud! Follow this link for a short video put together by the fine people at ASBA in her honor. Way to go Patrice!


Ian Parlaman
Fond Farewells and Future Functions

Hufford and Horstman has had an eventful month! We recently had a celebration in honor of the semi-retirement of two of our esteemed partners, Eve Parnell and Gehl Tucker. These two have been a fixture in our practice for many years, serving our community and shaping not just the practice, but making an impact that can be seen all across northern Arizona. We wish them a relaxing and fulfilling retirement, and are grateful that they are both staying with us in an of counsel relationship. Thanks again for so many years of talented, empathetic, and passionate service you two!

In less bittersweet news, our very own Patrice Horstman is being honored September 12th at the Little America Hotel, for the Women of Distinction Awards. This is an event held by the Girl Scouts of America to “celebrate, recognize, and honor outstanding women and young women who have experienced the power of Girl Scouting in their lives and made significant contributions to their community.” Tickets are available here.

Finally, the ASBA conference is almost upon us. Please join us Thursday, September 6th, to see Woman of Distinction Patrice Horstman & Steve Highlen leading the Legal Issues Relating to Superintendent Searches panel, followed by Ben Hufford & Julie Bacon presenting It’s Not Me, It’s Them: The Dissenting Board Member. Finishing up the H&H presentations, will be associate attorneys, Claire DeChambre & Nathan Schott, on Friday, September 7th with Tinker in the 21st Century: Student Walkouts and Protests. You can get tickets here, and we hope to see as many of you in attendance as possible.

Ian Parlaman
Presentations Abound

                Summer is almost over, and we are hard at work here at Hufford and Horstman. This week we are presenting on several topics during various Grant School Orientations. Specifically, Samantha Kelty will be discussing the topics of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Employee Social Media vs. Free Speech, Personnel Policies, Student Search and Seizure, and Student Discipline. Claire DeChambre will be covering the topics of HIPAA/FERPA, Ethics, Sexual Harassment, and Social Media. And finishing up our wide selection of presentations, Kristen Dikeman will present on Workplace Harassment.

                Then, in the upcoming 42nd Annual ASBA Law Conference (which features our very own Ben Hufford on its main page) the H&H stars will be presenting. On Thursday, September 6th, Patrice Horstman & Steve Highlen will lead a panel titled Legal Issues Relating to Superintendent Searches, and shortly after on that day, Ben Hufford & Julie Bacon will present on It’s Not Me, It’s Them: The Dissenting Board Member. Lastly, on Friday, September 7th, you can see our associates, Claire DeChambre & Nathan Schott, present on Tinker in the 21st Century: Student Walkouts and Protests.  We have been working hard on these presentations and hope to see some of you out there. It will be out of this world!


Ian Parlaman
Happy Birthday America

Recently, we here at the firm were happy to enjoy the Fourth of July Parade on the steps outside of our lovely building. We are grateful that we were able to spend some time with the local community in a relaxing atmosphere. Thanks to all the great people involved in the parade for giving us the opportunity to have such a fun time! We have attached a few pictures to the bottom of this newsletter so please look them over!

Of course it is not all parties and parades here. At this very moment the NAGSA Summer Conference is in full swing, and our Partner, Samantha Kelty, is presenting on Open Meeting Law, while Associate, Kristen Dikeman, is presentating on Special Education Law. For more information on NAGSA and their conferences, please visit their website.

Here are a couple pictures from the parade involving local heroes such as Captain America, Smokey the Bear, and of course, the city council. For more pictures of the event, check out our gallery.

Ian Parlaman
Recent News

It is time for the Museum of Northern Arizona’s 12th Annual Gala Weekend! Hufford and Horstman is proud to sponsor a table at the gala.  “Tselani/Terrain: Tapestries of D.Y. Begay,” an exhibition of Navajo textiles premiers at the gala.  D.Y. Begay is described as follows: “[t]his internationally recognized master weaver draws inspiration for her contemporary textiles from the distinctly beautiful landscape surrounding her home, Tselani, on the Navajo nation.” After the gala and auction, the exhibit is to be on display between June 17th and November 1st at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Recently, on May 10th and 11th, at the Heinfeld & Meech Grant School Conference in Laughlin, Nevada, Gehl Tucker presented “Informal Mediation or:  How to Solve Difficult Problems without Paying a Lawyer,” and Samantha B. Kelty presented, “Student Discipline, Special Education Discipline, and Student Threat Assessments:  How to ‘See Through’ the Issues.

Closer to home, a few new faces are lighting up the hallways of the Hufford and Horstman offices. Jenna Heguy has been hard at work assisting Patrice Horstman since mid-February, and we’re very grateful to have her. More recently, we’ve welcomed Kristen Dikeman as our new associate attorney.  We are lucky and proud to have such stellar individuals keeping H&H on track.

Finally, we would like to congratulate Nathan Schott for passing the Navajo Nation Bar Exam!

Ian Parlaman